Healthcare Network Hit By Massive Cyber Attack

Healthcare Network Hit By Massive Cyber Attack

( – On May 8, Ascension Healthcare Network disclosed that they experienced a cybersecurity attack in their clinical operations. The disruption caused their business partners to disconnect temporarily from the network’s systems.

Earlier this year, UnitedHealth, a large US health insurance company, announced a cyberattack. The attack caused their technology unit to interrupt the payments normally made to their health facilities and physicians.

Ascension issued an announcement to their network of healthcare partners, recommending caution at that time. As they investigated the problem, they advised their partners, for the time being, not to attempt to connect with their systems.

As Ascension continued their investigation, they detected an unusual situation in their network systems using their selected technology. Ascension discovered unusual activity in the system, disrupting access to a specific section while they investigated the impact it was having.

The attack disrupted several systems, including the electronic MyChart system that stores patient health records. The phone system was also down for a while, as was the system that healthcare providers use to order medications, tests, and procedures. They put non-emergency and elective procedures on hold until they restored the systems.

They also notified the proper authorities as their investigation continued. Ascension stated that they sought assistance from Mandiant, a company that specializes in the investigation and correction of such attacks.

The nonprofit network stated that they initiated this process to safeguard the delivery of patient care and to minimize any impact that the attacks could potentially have on the network. They stated that if any information of a sensitive nature was found to have been affected, they would be in contact with those who were involved by following legal and regulatory guidelines.

The Catholic nonprofit network was founded in 1999 and includes 140 hospitals, nearly 35,000 providers affiliated with the network, and close to 134,000 associates. These operations are all within 19 states plus Washington, DC.

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